Dear Members and Friends,
I like Christmas time! Mostly because of the celebration of the birth of Christ. But, I like Christmas for other reasons as well. It is a time for family traditions. Traditions are not bad things; rather, traditions create both memories and continuity. I know, sometimes traditions can become outdated and boring. That is why style may change in how we carry on those traditions but the fact of carrying them on creates wonderful and heartwarming experiences.
I still remember the lights we used on the tree when I was a kid. I still am amazed that those old, hot lights did not catch the real, dried-out cedar tree on fire! We got one bag of fruit to be shared by the whole family as a gift from the cotton mill where dad worked. One toy, a shirt, and a pair of pants were the gifts because by that time we had outgrown the clothes we started the school year with. Parched peanuts were always fixed by our dad and they were a treat.
But the real things of Christmas were never in short supply. Yes, we heated the house with an old coal heater and at night we literally “jumped into bed” because of the cold room. No we did not have much even though mom and dad worked hard and did absolutely the best they could do. As a child we had a “fancy outdoor bath room” located a little ways down across the pasture. But we were a family where church life was central, Christmas plays were celebrated, the country was our playground, cousins were our best friends, an old collie named “Poochie” was our collaborator, one of about fourteen cats named “Pinkie” was the matriarch of the yard, an old Jersey cow named “Daisy” provided our milk, and an old mule named “Belle” worked the spring garden. When you have Christ, church, and family, Christmas truly is a celebration and not just a holiday.
Merry Christmas to each one of you from Diane and me. We love you and may your Christmas be a true celebration centered around Christ and family.
Pastor Kirt and Diane